Smiley face
Weather     Live Markets

Several New England universities and colleges are increasing their undergraduate tuition and costs starting this fall, with some reaching at least $90,000. Private institutions such as Yale University, Tufts University, Boston University, and Wellesley College are among those that will surpass this mark, reflecting the rising cost of higher education that far exceeds the average inflation rate. For the 2024-2025 academic year, Tufts University estimates undergraduate expenses to be nearly $96,000, while Wellesley College’s costs come in at about $92,000, a 4.7% increase from the previous year.

Despite the significant increase in costs, many students at Wellesley College receive financial aid, with nearly 60% of students receiving aid and an average award of $67,469. The school is committed to making a Wellesley education affordable and meets the full calculated financial need for every enrolled student. Both public and private colleges have seen tuition and other costs rise over the years, with public four-year college costs increasing more than 200% between 1987 and 2017. The average student debt for borrowers aged 25-34 is $32,000, according to Department of Education data.

For the upcoming academic year, Yale University’s costs are nearly $91,000, followed by Boston University at around $90,000. BU offers expanded financial aid packages to bridge the gap between cost of attendance and affordability, meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need for admitted US citizen or permanent resident first-year students. BU awards $425 million in financial aid to undergraduates annually, with 92% being need-based and guaranteed for four years through their Scholarship Assurance program. The remaining 8% is merit-based.

Tufts University also commits to meeting the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted undergraduate students, with the current first-year class receiving over $33 million in need-based grants and an average grant of more than $53,500. The university’s total student charges for the 2024-2025 academic year are in line with peer institutions, and many students end up paying less in tuition than the published price due to their financial aid commitment. Yale University’s undergraduate financial aid budget for the 2023-24 academic year was $241 million, tripling since 2007-08, and they meet 100% of all families’ demonstrated financial need without requiring loans.

These escalating costs come at a time when the cost of attending college has far outpaced inflation rates, with the Consumer Price Index rising 3.2% in the 12 months ending in February. Student debt remains a significant burden for many borrowers, with the average balance for a borrower aged 25-34 being $32,000. Despite the challenges of rising costs, colleges like Yale, Boston University, and Tufts University are committed to making education accessible to all students through generous financial aid packages and meeting full demonstrated financial need.

© 2024 Globe Echo. All Rights Reserved.